Published November 20, 2014
Showers fell all day Sunday, and there was gloom inside the Miami Marlins' new ballpark for the home team as boos rained down from the crowd.
Slumping Miami managed only one hit until the ninth inning and lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-4.
The ballpark's retractable roof averted a rainout, and a crowd of 34,918 enjoyed the setting — but not the game. Fans jeered when Arizona scored five times in the sixth to lead 8-0 before Miami had a hit.
The Marlins, touted as contenders in the NL East, lost for the seventh time in eight games to fall deeper into last place.
"I'm concerned because it's not fun," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It's very hard to have fun when you're not playing well. We cannot be worse than this. Obviously we're going to play better. It seems like right now we're not having fun at all."
Marlins ace Josh Johnson (0-3) had another poor outing. He struck out eight but allowed 10 hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings, and opponents are batting .350 against the 2010 NL ERA leader.
"I threw some good pitches. I was just inconsistent," he said. "You've got to find a way to keep it together and keep pushing."
Things got worse after Johnson left, and the crowd of 34,918 jeered during Arizona's five-run sixth inning.
The Marlins tweaked the roster after the game, sending reserve outfielder Chris Coghlan and left-hander Mike Dunn to Triple-A New Orleans. Coghlan, the 2009 NL rookie of the year, was batting only .121.
"When you start losing, there are a lot of guys' jobs in jeopardy," Coghlan said. "It's a cutthroat business. We're going through a bad thing, and that's what happens."
John Buck doubled leading off the sixth for Miami's lone hit off Wade Miley. Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer, his first this season, in the ninth. He also drove in a run with a groundout.
Miley (3-0) gave up one run, which was unearned, in 6 1-3 innings to lower his ERA to 1.29.
"Everything was working out for me today," the left-hander said. "Any time you go out and establish the strike zone, you are going to have success. There's nothing like working fast and being able to throw strikes."
Miami's slumping 1-2-3 hitters — Emilio Bonifacio, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez — failed to get the ball out of the infield in 10 at-bats. The Marlins' batting average against left-handers fell to .169.
"It's hard when the team is going this way," Bonifacio said. "But we don't give up."
The Marlins' lack of offense is putting pressure on their starting pitchers, who for the most part have done well.
"We've just got to find a way to win a couple of games in a row," Johnson said. "We're not really hitting early in games. The pitchers have to keep us in the game, and I didn't do that today."
Gerardo Parra had two singles, two walks, a stolen base, a run and an RBI for the Diamondbacks. Teammate Aaron Hill had two hits and has reached base in 17 consecutive games. Arizona came into the game batting .204 with runners in scoring position but went 6 for 16 in those situations.
Miley retired the first 11 batters before Ramirez reached when his grounder was mishandled by third baseman Cody Ransom. Buck's double in the sixth prompted a standing ovation from the crowd, but Miley retired the next three batters.
Arizona's Jason Kubel had three hits, drove in three runs and contributed two key defensive plays in the fifth inning. Stanton sent Kubel to the base of the left-field fence to catch a fly. Kubel then made a running grab of a fly by Gaby Sanchez, and Omar Infante — running from first base because he thought the ball was going to drop — was doubled off to end the inning.
Notes: The Marlins recalled OF Bryan Petersen and LHP Dan Jennings from New Orleans. ... The Diamondbacks committed three errors after totaling only 11 — second-fewest in the NL — in their first 21 games. ... NL newcomer Mark Buehrle pitches against the Diamondbacks for the first time Monday. They're the only NL West team he has never faced. ... Willie Bloomquist has a .462 average (18 for 39) against Buehrle. ... Ramirez's two walkoff hits this season for Miami lead the majors.